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Q&A: Harpers 50 Best Indies Winner BinTwo

Published:  16 October, 2019

Fresh from topping the table at the annual Harpers 50 Best Indies awards we catch up with Mike Boyne from Padstow’s BinTwo to discover the secrets to his success, how he and the team celebrated and what he has up his sleeve next (spoiler alert: plenty).

Congrats on the win. Was it unexpected?

Yeah, completely and genuinely. I was absolutely stunned and I think the thing my wife enjoyed most about is that she never sees me stunned or lost for words. I came to the ceremony knowing we’d done better than [last year’s] 42, but I certainly had no expectations of being in the top 20, never mind number 1!

What have you done in the past 12 months to move you up those 42 places?

I think it’s all about me… I’ve said some nice things online about the team, but frankly it’s all about me! Ha ha. I don’t know, really. What was really heart-warming from the comments made by the judges and other people on the night was because we are relatively new to this trade and sort of fell into it, I’ve often felt that some of the things we do are basically mucking about and having a go. The comments were that those were the sort of things that made us stand out.

Please give us some examples…

We try to have a lot of fun and I think that plays out on social media – we genuinely use that as a platform to have some fun with what has been seen by some as a sort of high-brow topic, the scary world of wine! As a result we’ve found we talk about wine in a slightly more customer-friendly way. Our customers seem to buy into that and feel they are coming along for the ride. I guess the specific things we have done include doing our own label wine – the awfully named Jammy Git! – which is a way of showcasing wines that we think have an interesting story and that we have faith in. We also make a gin to our recipe which my wife and I came up with on an anniversary trip to Salcombe distillery. Things like that.

What plans do you have for the future?

We have plans to make our first wine. We’ve employed a winemaking consultant to make Cornwall’s first pet nat which we will be making in partnership with Trevibban Mill. It’s being made to our spec, so the risk is all ours and it’ll be a style of wine that’s never been produced around here. The Harpers award gave me the nudge to say ‘let’s do this’. We also have plans to set up a micro-winery at our second shop called The Arc and make wine in amphora or quevri there.

How did you celebrate the win down in Cornwall?

We shouted about it a bit on social media and by the time I got back to Padstow from London some of the girls who work for me had got every excited and had an A-board outside with the results on. We’ve spoken about it to people in the shop and it’s always been initiated by them. They’ve picked up on the news and they’ve been really warm and kind and given their feedback. We’re trying to make sure everyone keeps it in perspective. But if I’m honest, it’s had quite a profound effect on me that I wasn’t expecting!